A variety of cafes surround ASU campuses, especially in Downtown and Tempe. Two cafes, The Grand and Snakes and Lattes in particular, stand out and are well worth the visit. Each cafe brings a unique experience to their customers that can't be found anywhere else.
The Grand, located in the Downtown Phoenix area, is known for not only being a cafe but also a general store and coffee shop. This cafe is unique for hosting special events such as Open Mic Nights and Swing Dancing. They also host live bands on Saturdays, as well as every first Friday of the month. Additionally, their beer garden and speakeasy makes the cafe extra special. The speakeasy is even available to rent out for private parties.
"There's a lot here so it's not just The Grand, we got a Grand Ballroom [and] we have a nightclub. It's [a] pretty big place, there's a lot going on," manager Chris Pascillia said.
Events in the Grand Ballroom include burlesque shows as well as various types of dance lessons. The Grand is also starting a club called 'Vintage Downtown,' which is catered toward the college crowd. The club will be free to get in and has a 70's and 80's theme. Pascillia encouraged ASU students to come down to enjoy dancing and old school decor such as comfy beanbags.
Tempe's Snakes and Lattes is fairly new and has brought board games into the mix. The place is packed with boards and card games on every shelf. The games range from classics like Monopoly and Chess, to new and quirky games you may never have previously heard of. The cafe also has a unique look with its booths, community tables, and outside patio.
Upon visiting, the place seemed to be buzzing with conversation rather than patrons simply having their eyes glued to some sort of technological device. The homey and connected environment brings a new feel when compared to other cafes. The workers at Snakes and Lattes also play a role in making the place stand out.
"There are so many different types of people [such as] our game gurus, hosts, and bartenders. Everyone is just super different but we all somehow come together and click," manager Danny Perez said. The staff is also always sure to make the customers feel welcome and comfortable. They even offer recommendations when selecting games and will explain the rules if you are unsure of how to play.
They have a diverse menu of different foods too, including burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, and mac 'n' cheese. There are vegetarian and vegan options as well, like veggie burgers and salads. Plus, whether you're hungry or not, it's a great place to come and have a study session.
"There's a lot of space for people to come, it's quiet for the most part, and it's really relaxed. It's not like the rest of Mill," Perez said.